New Blog Address

I have really enjoyed using WordPress for my blog, but in order to do some of the things I would like to do, I needed to have a self-hosted WordPress blog.

So, same blog, just a different web address.

I know it’s not convenient, but this move just had to happen.

So, please take note of my new blog address: http://mycrazyhaven.memni.com/

Check it out as I add new things in the coming days – it is definitely a work in progress, but I’m excited.

Thanks for reading!

In order to continue our theme of “the summer of visitors, 2011“, we had our third group of house guests for this month alone! Chris Guess is someone I’ve known since 7th grade, and Tyler has known him / played sports with him since our freshman year of high school. He and his family stayed with us for a couple of nights on their way to missionary training in Pennsylvania. There are people you have known in the past, and when you run into them again, it’s uneasy and awkward. Then there are people like Chris – same guy, just a little older. It was great to see him again, and to reminisce about our high school years. But we also had the added bonus of meeting his wife, Mihaela, and their three wonderful kids! Mihaela met Chris while he was working with missionaries in Romania (her home country). Almost 10 years later, they are training and preparing to return to Romania as full-time missionaries. I could’ve listened to Mihaela talk about her life and country for hours – she has such an amazing viewpoint after living under a communist regime, and then coming to the states. Not to mention they have quite a story to tell about their youngest daughter, Abbi, who had open heart surgery at only 4 days old. It was an honor to finally meet Chris’ family, and it was so surreal to be sitting on the couch talking with someone you’ve known since 13 years old, while all five of our kids are running around playing with each other. If we had known back then….:)

If you’d like to know more about the Guess family, and their outreach to Romania, check out their website. They are still raising their support – and they covet your prayers as well.

**I didn’t take a single picture while they were here unfortunately! I need to get better at remembering to take photos – it kills me that I didn’t get any. Ugh.

Now, we are back to just the 4 of us. We are laying low and trying to unwind after our stream of visitors. These are hot days here in the south – many days have been over 100 degrees, and the humidity makes it pretty miserable. Luckily, we’ve had some rain the past couple of days which instantly cools things down. But the promise of crisp fall days is something I am clinging to.

I am currently filling out our application to begin our homestudy. I was thankful to find all the paperwork (birth certificates, marriage certificate, tax forms) that is needed without too much searching. But I am definitely struggling with worry over the financial aspect of this adoption. I know we’ll have to do some creative fundraising to make this happen, but at the same time, life keeps surprising us with other financial challenges as well – just simple things like our 12 year old car needing to be checked out, or bigger things like a family member’s wedding on the other side of the country. I am not complaining about these things – they are all part of life – I’m just fighting the urge to really stress out. I have visions of getting half-way through the adoption process and then just having to stop completely because there isn’t any more money. I’m going to have to take this whole process one day at a time, trusting the Lord each step of the way. We are looking forward to the adoption conference we will be attending next month – I think it will be full of valuable info for us.

What are you doing during these long, hot days of summer? Are you looking forward to fall? Or do you LOVE the heat?

Wordless Wednesday







Tyler and I have never been beach people. Honestly, going to the beach was a chore in California. Not that the beaches weren’t beautiful, but we’re not surfers or body-boarders, so that meant we sat on the beach with a TON of other people. We’d get sunburned, get annoyed at the inevitable rude people who run by you and kick up a bunch of sand, and put our toes in the freezing Pacific ocean only to run back to our towel to warm up again. Not really our idea of a good time.

Unfortunately, the beaches here in North Carolina do have sand. And I hate it just as much as I always have. But the ocean water is warm – comfortably warm. We have found a beach that is 4×4 vehicles only, and on a Friday afternoon, it’s virtually empty. So we take the kids. They adore the beach.

We were lucky enough to get a visit from Tyler’s brother and sister-in-law, along with their four girls. They did a cross-country trip from California. We totally had to go to the beach. In case the beach wasn’t cool enough, we came home and set off an awesome July 4th fireworks display! The kids had morning glory sparklers which last forever, and we ate sandwiches and blueberry pie with homemade ice cream. It doesn’t get much better than that!

While they were visiting, we also went to the Aurora Fossil Museum, where we all got to dig for shark teeth and sea shells. The kids found a lot!

To cap our time with family, we spent a couple of days down at Myrtle Beach. It was a blast, but we never actually made it to the beach! The kids had fun in the pool by our condo, and we spent time eating ice cream and shopping around Barefoot Landing. Oh, and I ate crab lung by accident. Really gross, and a story for another time because I’m still bitter :)

We had a lot of fun, and I think many memories were made. Enjoy the pictures!























21 Days: Wrap-up!

Fear. It can be so sneaky, and it can be so obvious.
It can invade our homes, families and minds.
I know that mothers understand fear. Because we struggle with it a LOT.

There is a quote that says that when we have children, it is like having your heart go walking outside of your body forever. I didn’t fully grasp that until I had my son – it is amazing how vulnerable a child can make you! Because of that, many times, we fall into fear – fear of getting hurt, fear of hurting our child, fear of making the wrong choices, fear of our children not growing up well, fear of failure…I could go on.

I’m sure these 21 days of prayers have brought up fears – but I hope that these prayers have given you a constant reminder that we are not alone in parenting our boys! We have a God who loves and cares for us and our sons – and is working each day to perfect us. And what a comfort to know that when we, as parents, fail, we can take that opportunity to point our sons to our heavenly Father – who loves us perfectly.

I hope this challenge has been a blessing to you. I hope that it has helped you move from worrying about the mundane, to focusing on the eternal. And I hope it has reminded you of the Lord’s grace. Even though our 21 days are over, I have a challenge to leave with you: make it a point to pray for 3 things for your son each day. Ask the Lord to guide you on what those 3 things should be each day. But continue to pray daily for your son.

I’d love to hear what you thought of this challenge and what you learned about yourself and/or your son over the last 21 days. Please leave a comment and let us know! If you have your own blog, and would like to write your thoughts there, I have put up a linky tool below which will allow you to link directly to your blog on here. Even if you aren’t going to write about this, but have your own blog, link to it so we can check it out.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and you’re in my prayers as you begin this new week. Congrats on completing the challenge!!

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice,
and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
~Micah 6:8

Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people,
nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. 
It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all.
~William Temple

Encouragement from Brooke:

It’s day twenty-one.
The LAST day of your prayer challenge. Are you a mixture of relieved and sad all at the same time? What an accomplishment! (What an amazing amount of work!) If you’re finishing today you deserve a pat on the back! Think of all the work that has been done on behalf of your sons! Congrats mom!
I chose humility as our last day’s topic because it is such an amazing posture of the heart. Scripture just seems to scream God’s favor over those who are humble in heart.
• James 4:10 says that if we’re humble before the Lord, He will lift us up.
• 1 Peter 5:6 says that if we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God He will exalt us.
• Psalm 149:4 says that it is the humble who are adorned with salvation.
Do you show humility before your sons? Do you always have to be right? Always have to win? Pray and ask the Lord for specific ways you can show humility today so that when the time comes, your sons will know how to show it too.

It’s really hard to show humility with a 4-year-old. I’m sure it will be difficult to be humble even when my kids are adults. The truth is, as parents, we are going to make mistakes. We will make poor decisions sometimes. Or we will do something that directly hurts our child. Do you have the humility to seek forgiveness? Or will your pride keep you quiet – pretending that nothing ever happened, or drive you to blame others? If we aren’t willing to have humility in our own lives, then how can our sons ever be expected to understand or live it?

Today, as you work through your last day of prayers, ask the Lord to bring to your mind anything that you need to deal with humbly. It may involve your son directly, and it may not – but little eyes are watching, and they are learning YOUR definition of humility. Fix it today.

I want to thank you guys for working through these 21 days with me. I know things are hectic in the summer, but this was really a special time of focusing on our boys, and I know the Lord has been glorified through this. I will be doing a conclusion post tomorrow for this whole thing – I hope you’ll stop by that post and let me know how this 21 day challenge impacted you.

Lies will get any man into trouble,
but honesty is its own defense. ~Proverbs 12:13

Even a little lie is dangerous; it deteriorates the conscience.
And the importance of conscience is eternal, like love.
~Pablo Casals

In the section, the Power of Forgiveness, I thought that the author did a great job of showing the difference between saying “I’m sorry” and “Please forgive me”. I’m going to try to implement that with my kids – I think it’s a great distinction to make.

Can you remember a funny example of when it was OK for your son(s) to offer an apology, such as the incident Brooke described in this chapter?

What goes hand-in-hand with forgiveness, is honesty. So today, we’re going to pray for our sons to have an honest heart – so that they can be honest with themselves and others – especially when it comes to asking or giving forgiveness. Also take some time to pray that the Lord will help you know when to ask forgiveness as well – from your son, from your husband, from a friend…let’s practice what we’re praying today.

See you tomorrow for the 21st day! I hope you’ve been able to stick with this.


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